Analysis of Plato's Apology

The Apology is Plato's recollection and interpretation of the Trial of Socrates (399 BC). In this dialogue Socrates explains who he is and what kind of life he led. The Greek word "apologia" means "explanation" -- it is not to be confused with "apologizing" or "being sorry" for one's actions. The following is an outline of the 'argument' or logos that Socrates used in his defense. A hypertext treatment of this dialogue is also available.

I. Prologue (17a-19a)

II. The First False Charges (19a - 24a)

A. The Charges and Their Assignment (19a-20c)

B. Socrates' Art and the Delphic Oracle (20c-23c)

C. How the Charges Arose (23c-24a)

III. The Specific Charges (24b - 28a)

The charges made by Meletus and Anytus were that Socrates was guilty of:

They demand the DEATH PENALTY.

Regarding the Charge of Corruption of the Youth -- Socrates begins a dialogue with his accuser Meletus. He defends himself by practicising his art.

Regarding the Charge of Impiety

IV. Socrates' Interpretation of his Art (28b - 32e)

V. Socrates Answers the Charges (33a-34b)

VI. Epilogue (34c-35d)

VII. The Conviction and Alternate Penalties (36a - 38c)

VIII. Final Speeches (38c-42a)

There are two sets of final speeches. The first are to those who voted for his death; the second are for those who voted for his aquittal. It is only in the latter speech that Socrates uses the term "judges."

To those who voted for his death (38c-39d)

To those who voted for his aquittal (39e-42a)

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